For the heat you want and the soul you crave look no further than Bubber Miley—the focus of WKCR’s Jazz Profiles this Sunday, November 6. Miley’s trumpet growls, snarls and soothes like no other’s. His gritty voice and free-spirited, ever-swinging phrasing make him instantly recognizable. Miley painted some of his broadest and greatest strokes during his time with Duke Ellington’s Orchestra (1923-1928) where he not only plays with utter brilliance, but also co-authors with Duke such tunes as BLACK AND TAN FANTASY, EAST ST. LOUIS TOODLE-OO and the band’s sizzling landmark, THE MOOCHE. The mood-setting and orchestral unity present in these moveable feasts of Jazz is an extension from Miley’s singular power as a soloist. His rapport with Duke and his orchestra is most astonishing for this reason. But Miley was active on records almost three years before his famous Ellington period, and for three years after.
He offers his unique personality to a number of sessions with two great Blues Queens of the early ‘20s, Mamie Smith and Rosa Henderson, as well as with bands led by Perry Bradford and Clarence Williams. His post-Ellington era is the most varied of his career in both performance and repertoire. At this time most of Miley’s work onstage and behind the microphone was with Leo Reissman’s Orchestra, adding his signature H-E-A-T heat and swing to a dance band of the era.
He also records in this period with Jelly Roll Morton’s Red Hot Peppers, on one date with his hero, King Oliver, and on one session alongside another legendary horn player, Bix Beiderbecke. Finally, in 1930 Miley records six sides as a leader under the auspices of Bubber Miley and his Mileage Makers. Join host Matthew Rivera on Sunday, November 6 from 2pm to 7pm EST as he navigates through Miley’s short yet prolific career.